1885 - 1937

Georges Valmier was born in Angoulême in France on the 11th April, 1885. A keen draughtsman, he enrolled at the Académie Humbert in Montmartre in 1905. In 1907 he was accepted at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, where he studied painting under Luc-Olivier Merson.

In 1907 Valmier discovered the work of Cézanne at a retrospective at the Salon d'Automne. This was to have a profound effect on him; his early work reflects very clearly the influence of the artist and Valmier was one of the first painters to pursue the Cubist aesthetic. In 1913 Valmier exhibited his work at the 'Salon des Indépendants' and regularly took part in exhibitions there until the outbreak of the first World War. Conscripted at once, Valmier was forced to stop painting but continued to sketch, recording his impressions of war in his 'Carnets de Guerre'.

 

In 1918 Valmier returned to Paris where he met the collector and art dealer, Léonce Rosenberg. On seeing his work, Rosenberg immediately gave Valmier a contract and in 1921 organised a solo exhibition for him at the Galerie de L'Effort Moderne. Rosenberg was highly enthusiastic about Valmier's work and often published articles on the artist in his magazine. During the 1920s Valmier took part in many international exhibitions and though the Galerie de L'Effort Moderne, came into contact with other cubist and avant-garde artists including Gleizes, Metzinger, Herbin and Laurens.

 

During the 1930s Valmier made a transition from Cubism to Abstraction. He was a member of the Abstraction-Creation group along with Arp, Gleizes, Helion, Kupka and Tutundjian. The artist became more interested in religion and metaphysics during this time and his focus shifted as he searched for a way to suggest the invisible. His paintings became more delicate and he linked his abstract pictorial harmonies to the harmonies of his soul. In 1930 his album 'Decors et Coleurs' was published, which became an inspiration for many abstract painters.

 

During the 1930s Valmier continued to paint and also designed stage sets and costumes for plays by Claudel, Pillement and Jacob. In 1936, the artist worked on three monumental works for the 1937 Exposition Universelle.

 

Public Collections
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
Musée National d'Art Moderne (Pompidou), Paris, France
Rijksmuseum KrMüller, Otterlo
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut